I am currently seeking representation for my upmarket

historical novel, Where the Land Ends.

A young mother fights to escape her abusive marriage

in rural Georgian England.

It’s 1806 and 31-year-old Eleanor Harding doesn’t see a way out of her abusive marriage to George, a retired Navy captain nearly two decades her senior. Divorce isn’t a legal option for the likes of Eleanor, a woman of unremarkable birth living in a tiny seaside village near Portsmouth with a baby daughter to care for and only thirty pounds a year to her name.

 

Eleanor finds fleeting moments of escape in her friendship with the sharp-witted Bess, her former music pupil. She also walks alone as much as she dares along the pebbled beach that stretches in both directions from her isolated cottage, savouring those times when she is not a wife or a mother, but simply Eleanor.

 

Her confined existence is shaken up with the arrival of the new village doctor. He seems more at ease in his vegetable garden than mixing with the neighbours at dinners and dances — and he also seems to understand Eleanor in a way others do not.

 

As Eleanor grows more miserable with her husband, she takes increasingly reckless risks to find moments of freedom. However, to truly liberate herself, she must work through the feelings of shame and self-doubt that have only grown throughout her unhealthy marriage. She must also learn to let go of the responsibility she feels to care for her husband following a traumatic incident from his naval past.

 

While a love story unfolds throughout the novel, the book equally explores Eleanor’s complex relationships with the women in her life — including her mother, who endured her own abusive marriage to Eleanor’s late father, and now seems to be coping by gliding through her days with no discernible emotions whatsoever. And through her evolving kinship with two younger women in her circle, Eleanor discovers her own great ability to nurture and at the same time confronts her capacity to wound.

Lindsay Lowe

Writer